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What first? Today was religion day for Donald Trump, who met with conservative Christians in New York. So how did he do?

Trump’s lack of religious faith is…what’s the right word? I mean, it’s obvious. Really, really, glaringly obvious. He plainly hasn’t thought about religion for more than a few seconds in his entire adult life. And yet, apparently conservative Christians are willing to close their eyes and pretend otherwise. Why? Because he panders to them harder and more explicitly than anyone ever:

As president, he said, he’d work on things including: “freeing up your religion, freeing up your thoughts. You talk about religious liberty and religious freedom, you don’t have any religious freedom if you think about it,” he told the group, which broke in many times with applause.

Throughout the talk Trump emphasized that America was hurting due to what he described as Christianity’s slide to become “weaker, weaker, weaker.” He said he’d get department store employees to say “Merry Christmas” and would fight restrictions on public employees, such as public school coaches, from being allowed to lead sectarian prayer on the field.

….Marjorie Danenfelser of Susan B. Anthony List, which works to oppose abortion…said she couldn’t recall a candidate explicitly stating they would pursue “pro-life” justices. “They usually couch it in other words, like ‘constitutional,’ ” she said.

Remarkable. The reason that even committed religious ultras talk about appointing “constitutional conservatives” to the Supreme Court is that they understand you aren’t supposed to have specific issue litmus tests for judges who are, in theory, making decisions based solely on the law. You’re supposed to just hint at it. Trump is too ignorant to know that, so he just spouts off about appointing pro-life justices—and for people like Danenfelser, Trump’s ignorance becomes a huge selling point. She views it as straight talking.

What else? Mark Cuban had this to say about Trump:

It’s rare when you see someone get stupider before your eyes, but he’s really working at it….But at some point, you’ve got to start learning and understanding the issues. You know, Donald has been at this a year but you don’t look at him and say, ‘Wow, he’s gotten so much smarter on this topic or that topic.’ In fact, you look at him and say, ‘What the hell are you talking about?’ That’s not good for America.

Trump’s ignorance really is phenomenal. Just by osmosis, most people would pick up a fair amount of knowledge if they ran for president. It would be hard not to. But Trump is apparently so proud of his ignorance that he takes considerable pains to avoid learning anything. Even by Trump standards, this is truly peculiar.

But it goes beyond mere ignorance. In today’s edition of the Trump Files, Max Rosenthal shows us a video of Trump not being able to multiply 17 times 6. (Neither could his kids, who acted as if they’d just been asked to solve a differential equation on the fly.) But that’s not what’s so great about this video. Lots of people might screw up this kind of mental arithmetic. What’s great is that even after he’s given the correct answer, he insists that his answer is really the correct one. So be sure to vote for Trump on November 9th! That’s the right day. Not the 8th. No, no, no. It’s the 9th. The 9th. It’s really the 9th.

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In "It's Not a Crisis. This Is the New Normal," we explain, as matter-of-factly as we can, what exactly our finances look like, how brutal it is to sustain quality journalism right now, what makes Mother Jones different than most of the news out there, and why support from readers is the only thing that keeps us going. Despite the challenges, we're optimistic we can increase the share of online readers who decide to donate—starting with hitting an ambitious $300,000 goal in just three weeks to make sure we can finish our fiscal year break-even in the coming months.

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